Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

See, I really can post two posts in a row like the good old days.  Remember when I posted over 25 blog entries a month?  Not sure I'll do that this year while I'm searching for work, but this is a start.

Today I want to finish up my thoughts from yesterday.  The spring-like weather we've been having, complete with tons of rain, has got me thinking.  I have time on my hands for the first time in 15+ years, so what's stopping me from completing my rain barrel setup?  Sure, money is an issue, but if you make them yourself they're pretty cheap.  So I have been researching food-grade 55 gallon drums.  To my surprise, I no longer have to go to Yelm to get them.  There is a place in my town that carries used drums for $15.  Even more shocking, there is a place that delivers plumbed rain barrels for $50.  I'm not sure I can make a rain barrel that cheap.  I'm checking into availablity of the $50 one. 

I want three total.  Two will go in the garden area. I think I have the space for 3, but I'm going to start with 2.  I have over 2,000 SF of roofline that flows into the downspout at the corner of my garden area.  I can easily divert the downspout into a rain barrel, connect the two via the overflow, then send the final overflow back to the storm drain. 

The third I want to put over by my kids room to support the blueberries.  Not only to support them, but to protect them.  You see, I planted the two new plants I got from Sandy on either side of a downspout.  I knew it could be a problem with too much water for the plants, but with a rain barrel, I can divert the overflow out into the yard or to the other side of the fence or whatever.  

I'm looking forward to the project.  The kids spend so much time outdoors these days, they want dad out there too.  Gardening gives me the chance to kill two birds with one stone.

Lastly, I am looking forward to reviewing a book for Patti the Garden Girl.  I'm almost done with Michael Pollen's Omnivore's Dilema and it would be good to read a gardening book after that heavy reading.  More on that later.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Woo hoo for a local source and only $15 for an empty! I love my rainbarrels and hope to expand them some day in the future. I use them all the time for container watering - particularly in the greenhouse.

    Glad to see you out in the garden and posting more often - missed you.

  2. Those drums sound good. It also sounds like a small opportunity to provide them for other gardeners. I hope to plumb my big rain catchers this year so they'll be pressurized to use with the watering set up.

    Of course the kids want you around. I know from my out of work (way too many of them) friends how discouraging work searches are right now. Hang in there and know you are absolutely not alone.

  3. Sounds like a great project! I've planted even more blueberries since last year and hope we both get great crops!

  4. Hooray, good to see you back! Sounds like good plans re: the barrels.

  5. Sinfonian! Dude! Nice to see you are still here.

    I found free rain barrels on Craigslist in Snohomish County. You should certianly look for them.

    Good luck!

  6. Hi Sinfonian -

    I have a 330 gallon rain barrel system I've created using six 55-gallon drums. I'm not sure if you have to use food-grade barrels, but I didn't - since this will just be holding rain water.

    I went to a local oil changing shop and those that change your windshield wiper fluid probably buy it in 55-gallon drums. So, I got all six of my barrels for free this way. The barrels were used for windshield wiper fluid - so a good rinse and all is well.

    I have made some YouTube videos and posted a lot of pictures on my website blog if you are interested. I have all of them connected by 2" PVC pipe that runs underneath the barrels - so they all fill up simultaneously. They were also built up to be right under the gutters - so by hooking up an irrigation system or hose, you have some pressure.